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## Ties of the Matrix: An Exercise in Combinatorics51

mikejuk (1801200) writes "The Matrix Reloaded started something when 'The Merovingian' wore a number of very flashy ties. The problem was that we thought we knew how many ways you can tie a tie. The number of ways had been enumerated in 2001 and the answer was that there were exactly 85 different ways but the enumeration didn't include the Matrix way of doing it. So how many "Merovingian" knots are there? The question is answered in a new paper, More ties than we thought [PDf], by Dan Hirsch, Meredith L. Patterson, Anders Sandberg and Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson. The methodology is based on the original enumeration and an interesting application of language theory. The idea is to create a programming language for tying ties and then work out how many programs there are. For single depth tucks there are 177,147 different sequences and hence knots. Of these there are 2046 winding patterns that take up to 11 moves, the same as the The Merovingian knot and other popular knots, and so these are probably practical with a normal length necktie."
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## Ties of the Matrix: An Exercise in Combinatorics

• #### ties (Score:5, Funny)

on Sunday April 06, 2014 @05:31PM (#46679327)
Tie boy: Do not try and tie the tie. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Tie boy: There is no tie.
Neo: There is no tie?
Tie boy: Yes, you jackarse, this is a techie film and people don't wear ties unless they dropped in accidentally from the Wall Street movie set next door.
• #### I prefer the variation... (Score:2)

of the null knot. The question is, is a null knot a knot at all or a knot of null?
• #### You've been living in a Dream World Neo (Score:5, Funny)

<`obsessivemathsfreak' `at' `eircom.net'> on Sunday April 06, 2014 @05:35PM (#46679351) Homepage Journal

Morpheus: The Link-bait is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very article summary. You can see it when you load up your RSS feed, or when you log into Slashdot. You can feel it when you're skiving off at work... when you're tweeting during church... when you're moaning online about politics and taxes. It is the distraction that has been pushed into your eyes blind you from the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That You are the Product, Neo. Like everyone else you have logged into a panopticon. Into a marketing scam that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your attention-span.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Score: +5, Not funny.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Please tell me I'm not the only one who read this in Fishburne's voice?!
• #### Re: (Score:2)

We all did. Each and every one of us. It's impossible to resist and at the same time it doesn't work nearly as well if you don't do it.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

I read it in Samual L. Jackson's voice.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Well I wrote it in Fishburne's voice, but I guess the real oscar here goes to Edward Snowden and the Wachowskis.

• #### Started something (Score:2)

The Matrix Reloaded started something when 'The Merovingian' wore a number of very flashy ties.

Did it?

• #### Re:Started something (Score:4, Insightful)

on Sunday April 06, 2014 @05:53PM (#46679449)
The Matrix Reloaded started something when 'The Merovingian' wore a number of very flashy ties... the thing it started was millions of geeks saying what a shit film it was.
• #### Re: (Score:3)

Matrix Reloaded was merely a disappointing film. Matrix Revolutions was a shitty, nasty sorry excuse and complete waste of time for a film. Mostly because it wasn't set inside the fucking Matrix. Honestly, if you're going to have a final war between man and machine, set it up to occur inside the matrix, not just the final fight. An army of super humans against machines.... much better than that mech crap we all fell asleep watching.

Now you've got me started ... Ties pfft ... goddam

• #### Re: (Score:3)

Whatever it may have started, a love of neckties was not it.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

I had a very brief moment reading this summary when I thought, "Gee, I didn't know there was mathematical complexity snuck into the Merovingian's ties." Then I thought, "Damn, I wish they'd taken that four hours of thought into the script. They could have doubled the satisfaction value of the story with that effort."

• #### Matrix ties (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06, 2014 @05:51PM (#46679443)

Nice article [xirdalium.net] about the matrix ties.

• #### What about the clip? (Score:3, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06, 2014 @05:56PM (#46679459)

Those fancy knots are very nice, but how do you clip it to your shirt?

• #### Re: (Score:2)

You don't, clips are too complicated. Blu-Tack is much more convenient.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Ties get stuck in printers. Screw ties! They're an IT working hazard.
• #### Must be a slow news day.... (Score:2, Informative)

Hmmmm... geeks don't wear ties and this was published back in January (3 months ago), and the videos have been on Youtube [youtube.com] for years. How is this news?

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Perhaps published earlier, but I had never heard of this. To those of us intrigued by topology and algorithms (and a bit of whimsy) this article is absolutely delightful. I'll have to pull out one of my ties and try some of these out.

• #### You really scared me for a second. (Score:2)

I thought I read: Of these there are 2046 winding patterns that take up to 11 movies
• #### Re:You really scared me for a second. (Score:5, Funny)

on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:54AM (#46681077)

The Matrix
The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Replicated
The Matrix Revenge
The Matrix Relapsing
The Matrix Regurgitated
The Matrix Rewindings
The Matrix Reconjiggered
The Matrix Repugnant
The Matrix Revenue

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Luckily they never made a sequel.
• #### Black on Black (Score:2)

For someone seemingly intelligent enough to try and enumerate the tie options in code, they were brain dead fucking stupid enough to try to illustrate it with small pictures of a black tie on a black shirt.

Sheer genius.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

They also added the source at the end. Visualize yourself.
• #### They had to find out how the tie was tied (Score:2)

They didn't think to just make a phonecall to the producers of the movie?

• #### James Bond (Score:1)

If I remember correctly, James Bond didn't trust a man who used anything except a Double Windsor to tie his tie. But that was a long time ago... I think about the time I stopped reading Ian Fleming. :-)

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